(above: brown pelicans diving on a hot spot)
2022 11-07 SB Channel
Captain Dave and the crew found stormy seas in the Channel today as we ran a private whale watching charter (Cruise ship passengers only). Overcast and rainy skies, bumpy seas and a fresh breeze all contributed to a generally nautical experience. Mammal sightings, on the other hand, were excellent. We closely watched 9+ humpback whales, 1000 long-beaked common dolphins and 200 California sea lions. Dave ran out to an area near the NOAA Mid-Channel Buoy (north of The Lanes), then moved south past The Lanes closer to beautiful Santa Cruz Island.
Three humpback whales, a pair and a solo, were watched in the area near The Buoy. Only a few dolphins and sea lions were around this area. A major hot spot was found after we moved south. The spot was rich. There were sometimes stampeding dolphins, mobs of sea lions and at least 6 whales. All appeared to be feeding just beneath the surface, and some of the whales were doing a lot of fast moving around (Was it food or social stuff?). The whales often moved a considerable distance during their down times. Several inadvertent close passes near the Condor Express took place as the whales were charging and moving around underwater and happened to come by the boat.
You never know what Mother Nature has in store.
Condor Express, and